Our Brick House graduates inspire us every day, and one of our very favorite things is catching up with them to see how things are going with their business. If you’ve been wondering what they do with the momentum and new-found knowledge they discover during this 9-week brand development mentorship, then I hope you’ll get comfy and dive in for another installment in our “BHB Case Study” series.
This week, we’re chatting with Kelley Taylor, a seasoned entrepreneur with several businesses beneath her belt. She came to us in 2018 with big plans to launch a new skincare collection, and the stunning results have us smiling from ear-to-ear. Take a peek and learn more about her journey to Misty Blue Botanicals.
Getting to Know Misty Blue Botanicals
LBC: Why and when did you originally launch your company?
Kelley: I began bouncing around the idea of starting my own skincare business back in early 2017, but the impetus to actually go through with it was when my son and daughter-in-law told us they were expecting a baby. I wanted to make a whole bunch of safe skincare products for my daughter-in-law to use while she was pregnant.
LBC: At what point did you tag in Lucky Break?
Kelley: I actually came to Lucky Break Consulting and BHB pre-launch after reading a blog post about Lela on a professional soap making website. I was floundering around trying to piece together a brand identity and not having much luck doing it. When I landed on the Lucky Break website and read Lela’s bio, I KNEW I found the right person to help me launch my brand.
LBC: What significant realizations about the nature of branding did you discover through Brick House Branding?
Kelley: Where do I start? You have to dig so deep in BHB into the how and why of doing this – it’s not enough anymore to say you’re handcrafted or artisan or maker-owned. You have to get down to something deeper – an elemental connection to the people who want to buy your products. BHB also really challenged my self-esteem in the sense that I had to become a person who is confident they make great products. If you don’t believe that, no one else will either. Lela is such a great cheerleader.
Brick House Branding is intense and challenging. But it’s also a clear and concise roadmap to small brand success. I would have flailed around for years trying to figure out everything I learned in 8 weeks. BHB is the best business investment I’ve ever made.
LBC: How did you allocate the workload? Did you tag in professionals for some pieces and DIY other facets of the brand redevelopment?
Kelley: I could not have gotten to where I am without Lela’s list of preferred professionals! Without Lela’s suggestions, I never would have pulled the trigger on hiring a graphic designer for a whole brand identity package, but I’m so glad I did. That was a big expense for me starting out, and I know I wouldn’t have spent the money on it if it wasn’t for Lela. I also took her suggestions for a website designer and for a products-on-white photographer. The one thing I did do myself was the copywriting for the website and marketing materials. I really felt I had to be the one to do that.
LBC: What was the biggest obstacle you encountered during the rebranding process?
Kelley: Oh my! That would have to be sourcing good looking containers for my products. I’m not at a point yet where I can afford 5,000-10,000 piece orders of custom screen-printed jars and bottles, so finding an entire suite of good-looking packaging has been a real struggle for me.
LBC: How has your own perception of your brand evolved since graduating from Brick House Branding?
Kelley: I feel like Misty Blue Botanicals is its own entity now – a living, breathing thing separate from me. Sure, it has parts of me, but it is really starting to evolve on its own, and I love seeing that.
LBC: How have people reacted to the brand?
Kelley: Since I’ve upped my packaging game and had custom letterpress boxes printed for my artisan soaps, for example, I’ve noticed people treat my products differently when they pick them up off the shelf. They’re more careful with them and treat them more like a finely wrapped gift. What I’ve learned here is that good exterior packaging can really elevate how your brand is perceived by the consumer.
I am constantly receiving compliments on my logo, on my brand colors and on my custom letterpress boxes. Everywhere I go, whether I’m selling in my own little shop or at a large show, people stop and notice all the fine details I have put into my branding.
There are tons of business coaches, branding experts, and consultants vying for our hard-earned money. Many of them are not worth anywhere near what they are charging, and many of them are not really interested in helping small makers. But Lela and her crew deserve every penny they charge and then some.
LBC: How did the Brick House Branding experience help shape your brand development process?
Kelley: Let’s be honest, I’d probably still be floundering around with home printed labels and sub-par messaging if it wasn’t for BHB. It was literally a road map to follow. The process of birthing a brand is a huge undertaking, and it needs to be broken down into easily digestible bits in order to conquer it all and not get overwhelmed. BHB does just that.
LBC: What advice would you give to someone who’s getting ready to start the brand development process?
Kelley: I’d be honest and tell them that it’s going to take way longer than you anticipate, it’s going to cost way more than you could imagine, and it’s going to be a lot of hard work. But it’s all worth it in the end when you introduce your spanking new brand to the world.
LBC: What’s next for your brand?
Kelley: We have been working like crazy for the last 10 months on a full line of new skincare products for Misty Blue Botanicals with new labels and packaging that we hope to launch nationally this fall in venues such as Credo Beauty and The Detox Market. Wish us luck!
We *love* what Kelley has created with Misty Blue Botanicals! Want us to be a part of your branding journey? Brand development just-so-happens to be our specialty, and Brick House Branding is our most celebrated program. Enrollment for the January 2020 of this 9-week brand development mentorship is open September 3-13. Mark your calendar, and join the waitlist to receive an advance “heads up” on enrollment!